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Xin Zhao Build Guide by Janitsu

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Janitsu

[WIP] [S3] Xin Zhao - The Seneschal of Demacia [Top]

Janitsu Last updated on March 10, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

I will add more about Xin Zhao mid and jungle builds etc. but this is at the moment only full guide to top Xin Zhao

1. Introduction

2. Pros and Cons

3. Masteries

4. Runes

5. Summoner Spells

6. Ability Sequence/Explanations

7. Items

8. Gameplay

9. Summary

10. Change Log

11. Special Thanks

Play this song and you'll hear my voice!

Hello everybody!

I bought Xin Zhao two years ago, and I think I know at least a little about him. So, you are probably thinking "Why mid?", the answer is simple; It's League of Draaaaa.... Wrong guide, It's League of Ad Bruisers Mid. Xin Zhao makes a perfect mid. He has gap closer ( Audacious Charge) CC ( Audacious Charge/ Three Talon Strike) and also sustain ( Battle Cry). He is a hard counter to both; AD casters ( Talon) and AP casters ( Lux).
I started playing him as a jungler, while building Trinity Force and dealing tons of damage, I thought:"What if I tried Xin Zhao top?". And that's where it all began. So, I started playing him in rankeds and normals, both, and only as mid and top. When Xin Zhao was only played as jungler, I usually had teammates shouting:"This noob first time Xin Zhao!", and somehow, it was true.

And if you don't understand some terms, check the link below:

Janitu's Terminology Guide

This is a Terminology guide made by me. If you want to use the link in your guide, please credit me for making it, so nobody thinks you made it ^^

But, without any longer introduction, I'll let you see my guide instead :3

Hope you like it
Janitsu ^^


+ W's passive heals
+ Wins most of the early trades
+ Is tanky and has a lot of CC
+ Can use E to catch or to escape
+ Can escape or burst the enemy ad carry with ult
+ Fast pusher

//Xin Zhao has pretty strong early game. He has sustain from his W, but even though you want to heal yourself, care, you might push your lane, and this is why you should have wards! He can focus enemy's ad carry, let's have for example: Ashe. The enemy team is surrounding Ashe and you have no chance to kill her like that. So, if your team follows you, you can use Audacious Charge and then Crescent Sweep and now you have only Ashe there (If you used Audacious Charge to her). Just use your Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry to kill her easily.

- Easily has pushed lane
- If mid, hard to last hit against long range champions
- Weak late game
- Needs tankiness to be useful
- Sometimes hard hard to initiate
- Shouts all the time ^^

// So, when you attack to heal yourself, you usually push a bit. During a long period, it might cause your death. Also, when you push, you have to decide; Do you use Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry to destroy the turret, or save them if somebody from the enemy team comes to kill you. And you are the one who should initiate, if you don't have someone like jungle Shen..............


// With these masteries, I have some late game power, because some of these are strongest when you are lvl 18 or so. So, I take Weapon Expertise , Durability and Hardiness / Resistance . But there are many choices, and you can even make your own mastery tree! This is just an example of an tree I use as top. There is also ones for mid and jungle, which both work as top lane mastery trees. But you should edit this tree if you are playing ranked/draft because different enemies are easier with different masteries. Also Summoner's Wrath IS NOT needed, but I recommend putting a point to it, because it'll make your early game/first blood easier, I know, I've had enemies who have 5 hp after Ignite and things like that. Wow, I thought that this section was pretty damn brief

Here's also additional mastery tree:

This mastery tree is defensive one, if think that the game will last more than 40 minutes, I recommend having this tree. It's only like that because Xin Zhao gets weaker when you go towards late game. Then you need to tank and use your crowd control. I know that this isn't always the thing, if you get extremely fed early game.

And two pictures for both, lane and jungle:


Greater Seal of Health

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: // These are for the mobility. You need to roam atleast to mid as Xin Zhao and you can have easy kills if you can gank mid and bot in a short period. These work well if you are Midzhao or Jungzhao. Mobility also helps you with escaping and chasing things. I can't praise these runes enough, they've saved my life so many times!
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: // You can trade early, and faster jungle. I think these are pretty self-explained runes. But if you want more explanations; Here you go! You'll have so damn good trading power with these, and jungling is easier, since monster don't have so much armor, pure attack damage is more useful compared to armor penetration.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: // You need these at top and mid. Different runes for jungle though. I'd recommend getting Greater Glyph of Attack Speed, because you'll get attack speed, which has so damn good synergy with your Battle Cry, which will make your jungling even easier.
  • Greater Seal of Health: // These are for the early game, because you are so damn squishy, and need some health if they are going to harass you, and which they probably will. Also, can save you from minion aggro, which kills people, trust me. I'd say that good alternatives are Greater Seal of Scaling Health or greater seal of health Health Regeneration.

Flash: // This a great way to catch and to get away, also you can do Flash/ Smite combo if you are jungle Xin Zhao to steal Baron Nashor, which gives you 1500 gold (300 x 5 = 1500) and a buff that provides mana and health regeneration with 40 AP and AD. If you die, but got it with Smite, it's 90% of time worth it.

Ghost: // A great alternative for Flash, you can chase and get away, great if they have someone like Ezreal and he can Arcane Shift like you Flash. Also you can gank easier, and run to dragon and Baron Nashor, if the enemy team is trying to take it. I recommend getting this and Smite if you jungle.

Smite: // Basic jungle summoner spell. Doesn't need much explanation. But it provides 10 gold every time you use it, and makes jungling faster, easier to steal important neutral creeps like Baron Nashor, Dragon, Ancient Golem, Lizard Elder. I take this every time I jungle. No exceptions.

Ignite: // Good finishing off enemies with low hp, and also healing reduction (fed ADC, Ahri), also deals good damage, when you initiate, now it is even better when they "buffed" it making it untargetable to minions. You should definately pick this if you go to a lane, but as jungler, I'd prefer, like said earlier, Smite and Ghost

  • Challenge: // Pretty sweet passive! 15% of enemies armor? Is this free Last Whisper without attack damage bonus? And lower armor penetration? But still, sweet as candy (sweets). This is one of my "Top 10 passives in League of Legends", helps your team aswell by lowering enemies' armor with 15%.
  • Three Talon Strike (Q): // This is your main source of damage in early game, and also your ganking CC and your laning CC, deals pretty damn much damage and resets auto attack animation, so to get maximum damage, you should activate it immediately after your auto attack hits, so you can deal damage equal to two auto attacks + bonus damage.
  • Battle Cry (W): // This makes your laning easier, but as said before, care, you might push your, when you just wanted to heal yourself a bit. This also useful in 1 v 1 fights, because it increases your attack speed, which means more damage, more heal, and faster cooldown reduction on your Three Talon Strike.
  • Audacious Charge (E): // Ability you use to initiate, gank, trade, harass, escape. Powerful ability, with magic damage and slow. You can use it to enemy creeps, if you want to escape. This is the reason I carry wards with me. When I get caught in the enemy jungle, I can easily escape by just simply putting a ward to a camp and using Audacious Charge to get away from it.
  • Crescent Sweep (R): // This ability makes your initiation even more powerful!1!!1 You'll get armor, magic resist and deal a lot of damage, and knocking back enemies that don't have Challenge mark above them. You can also knock enemies back with this ability to escape, which is pretty damn good.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
// I max Three Talon Strike first because it is the most useful, since it lowers your other cooldowns by second everytime you hit when it's active. I usually choose Audacious Charge over Battle Cry, because you only need the heal from Battle Cry and the increase of attack speed and heal isn't so much. Better max Audacious Charge first, so you slow more and deal more damage. And you can catch enemies, the more often you have, more often you have a change to kill enemy, or atleast you can get assist(s). Crescent Sweep is maxed first, because the damage and armor and magic resistance that comes from it is just incredible and awesome, which means you can initiate even more powerful, and still be alive after a huge fight, that your team has won, thanks to you.

Item Sequence

The Brutalizer

Mercury's Treads

Iceborn Gauntlet

Frozen Mallet

Items for jungling:

Item Sequence

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion

Madred's Razors

Boots of Speed

Wriggle's Lantern

The Brutalizer

Mercury's Treads


Then follow the core build etc. (the things that are in the cheat sheet)

// If you are jungler, this is awesome choice, and also gives a ward, you can also get this if you are facing ad top, so they don't deal so damn much damage to you. Also, if you have ad bruiser against you at top, and he has much cc, and you needed to buy Mercury's Treads you should definitely get this.

// Cooldown reduction, attack damage, armor penetration. This is very good item, and only costs 1337, builds from two Long Swords. I recommend getting this always! Faster jungle, easier mid, easier top. Especially if they buy armor, they'll lose 40% of it, thanks to Challenge, The Brutalizer and Weapon Expertise

// AoE slow, and also Sheen buff, which makes your spammable abilities even more useful, also gives you cooldown reduction, armor, mana and ability power. Good item overall, a bit expensive, in my opinion, but you should certainly get this item before 30 mins, because it is so damn good against people that have high mobility ( Nidalee for example).

// I think this is the greatest solo top that came to season 3. You get tenacity (Which is good if you got Ninja Tabi against someone like ( Gangplank), also gives movement speed, attack speed and cooldown reduction. You might want to sell your boots late game for this item, to have even better stats, while losing only a bit of your movement speed.

// Every hit slows, and you will also get respectable amount of health, which makes you even tankier, and you can chase that damn Teemo down easier, without even dying to his mushrooms, which is pretty ******** annoying. Also the attack damage is useful. Pretty good item overall, not too cheap though.

// You sell Ninja Tabi and buy these ones. (If you got Ninja Tabi) These are the best choices of bootsin my opinion. Thanks to the magic resist, you'll have better initiates, and thanks to the tenacity, the crowd control they have won't be so good against you anymore, which means you can deal more damage

// These are "early game" boots. You take these against people that are ad bruisers. ( Talon, Gangplank, Lee Sin, Garen etc.)
// This is a great upgrade to The Brutalizer, which gives you even more damage against tanks, and a little bit more health. I'd upgrade The Brutalizer to this last, unless enemy team is stacking armor, and won't get magic resistance.
// If their Ezreal got fed at bot, and people blame you; Get this item. It is so good against ad carries, especially the ones that benefit well from attack speed.
// Well, I'll just let Phreak tell you what I think of Trinity Force:

NOTICE! I don't want to describe every choice, if you have questions about items, comment!

You should just try to get early first blood as laner, and if you have someone tanky, focus on farming and let him waste mana on you, while you heal with Battle Cry's passive. As jungler, it is all different. You should focus on getting both buffs as soon as humanly possible. Then gank another lane. Or you can just simply powerjungle few levels, if there aren't any lanes to gank. When you gank, make sure that they use Flash before you use your Audacious Charge, or if you are sure that you have enough crowd control to kill him, you can initiate with Audacious Charge.

But, you need farm, as much as you can get, you need it. It doesn't matter if enemy's mid has farm. It's a bit sad, but if you have massive amounts of farm, the enemy should be afraid. In the jungle, you'll farm enemy champions. If you read this, go and kill one Teemo for me!

Here's also few images, which might explain why wards are IMPORTANT!:

You can easily escape people!

And catch them!

So, overall, Xin Zhao is pretty damn strong champion, can play almost every role, is op as AP, and synergies very well with many champions. You can be tanky, you can carry, you can be supportive tank, you can be ad bruiser, you can be jungler. You can be Phreak. You only need Trinity Force and you need to be jungler. That's how simple it is. Soraka? No worries, go jungle and rush Trinity Force.

DD/MM/YYYY - What changes/actions done

19/02/2013 - Guide's Xin Zhao top part done, still waiting and adding some details before publishing this guide!
19/02/2013 - Corrected mistakes, published, and added loads of information
20/02/2013 - Added two images, going to add some more information today/tomorrow (and pictures!)
05/03/2013 - Added a little bit of information and I am going to test if it is better to take some early points to Audacious Charge, because the newest patch (At the moment I am writing this) nerfed them a bit. Probably going to add patch notes section (MAYBE!)

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.